Mobile a(u)ction

21 October 2016

The Australian Communications and Media Authority seeks feedback on how to allocate spectrum that remained unsold in the 700 MHz digital dividend auction held in 2013, and on the potential use of mobile broadband services in the 1.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands.

The location of unsold spectrum lots in the 700 MHz band ACMA

The 700 MHz band spectrum is attractive to participants interested in offering mobile nationwide mobile broadband services, such as 4G LTE mobile broadband.

The consultation is about the product being offered and the rules and procedures that will govern the process of a proposed auction early next year.

The consultation closes 17 November 2016.

The agency's 2013 auction offered 2 x 45 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, following a worldwide trend of releasing digital dividend spectrum to allow greater use the resource. The spectrum was freed up as a result of the switchover to digital television across Australia and the subsequent restack of digital television transmissions to channels below 694 MHz.

The ACMA has also released a discussion paper on the use of additional spectrum for mobile broadband, the Future use of the 1.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands.

The 1.5 gigahertz (GHz) and 3.6 GHz bands are currently used by services that include satellite, and fixed-broadband services, as well as defence use and fixed services, including in regional and remote areas. However, internationally these bands are now considered for mobile broadband services.

The paper seeks public comment on the possible use for mobile broadband services of spectrum in the 1.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands, which are currently included in the initial investigation stage of the agency's Mobile Broadband Work Program.

More information: